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  package 04/12/2021 11:02:PM

Project Citation: 

Kearney, Melissa, Price, Brendan, and Wilson, Riley. Data and Code for: Disability Insurance in the Great Recession: Ease of Access, Program Enrollment, and Local Hysteresis. Nashville, TN: American Economic Association [publisher], 2021. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2021-04-28.

Project Description

Summary:  View help for Summary
Previous research has documented that Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) applications and awards increase during economic downturns and that expanded access to SSDI leads to a reduction in employment. We build on these insights and investigate to what extent differential access to SSDI during economic downturns leads to differential changes in SSDI enrollment and employment during the subsequent recovery. We exploit plausibly exogenous variation in SSDI appeals processing time (a measure of hassle or access) facing individuals living in ZIP codes that straddle Social Security Administration hearing office catchment borders. During the Great Recession, ZIP codes assigned to hearing offices with faster appellate processes saw a larger increase in SSDI enrollment than their cross-border neighbors. These enrollment effects are concentrated among ZIP code pairs that experienced more severe labor market downturns, and they persist as late as 2015. In the full sample, there is no clear effect of longer processing times on subsequent employment rates. However, we find some limited evidence that faster appellate processes may have weighed on the employment recovery in hard-hit ZIP codes that had high pre-recession rates of SSDI enrollment. Our findings highlight the importance of considering interaction effects between economic shocks and ease of access to the safety net.

Scope of Project

Subject Terms:  View help for Subject Terms disability insurance; employment rates; Great Recession
JEL Classification:  View help for JEL Classification
      H31 Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents: Household
      J14 Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-labor Market Discrimination
      J22 Time Allocation and Labor Supply
Geographic Coverage:  View help for Geographic Coverage United States (specifically, neighboring ZIP codes located in the same county but assigned to different Social Security Administration hearing offices)
Time Period(s):  View help for Time Period(s) 2003 – 2015
Universe:  View help for Universe Adults aged 30–64 (for analysis of enrollment in Social Security Disability Insurance) or 30+ (for analysis of employment)
Data Type(s):  View help for Data Type(s) administrative records data; geographic information system (GIS) data; other; program source code


Data Source:  View help for Data Source
US Bureau of Labor Statistics Local Area Unemployment Statistics, 2003-2015
US Bureau of Labor Statistics Labor Force Characteristics, 2003-2015
US Census Bureau tract-level population estimates, 2010 Decennial Census
US Census Bureau tract-level population estimates, 2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Data
US Census Bureau LEHD Origin-Destination Employment Statistics, 2003-2015
US Federal Housing Finance Agency Annual Housing Price Indexes, Five-Digit ZIP Codes, 2003-2015
US Department of Housing and Urban Development, Tract-ZIP and ZIP-County Crosswalks, 2012Q1
US National Cancer Institute Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program, US Population Data, 2003-2015
US Social Security Administration, OASDI Beneficiaries by State and ZIP Code, 2003-2015
US Social Security Administration, OASDI Beneficiaries by State and County, 2004-2015
US Social Security Administration, ALJ Disposition Data, 2010-2015
US Social Security Administration, Hearing Office Workload Data, 2010-2015
US Social Security Administration, Hearing Office Locator, 2007-2013
US Department of Agriculture, County to Commuting Zone Crosswalk, 2000
US Department of Agriculture, Rural-Urban Continuum Codes, 2003
Esri, USA ZIP Code Areas GIS layer, 2018
Weights:  View help for Weights We weight ZIP codes by their 2010 population. These weights are included in the analysis dataset.
Unit(s) of Observation:  View help for Unit(s) of Observation ZIP code x pair of neighboring ZIP codes x year
Geographic Unit:  View help for Geographic Unit ZIP code

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